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 Post subject: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:13 am 
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Just see here: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/639725-art ... spiration/

I love their idea!


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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:32 pm 
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Seems quite non-feasible, ie they are proposing to write a lot of books

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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:58 pm 
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Cool, I'm ditching this place.


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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:30 am 
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Well, the table of contents is looking good so far :P

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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:50 am 
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Pieman wrote:
Cool, I'm ditching this place.
?

What I meant is that a proposal to rewrite half the books in this area will distribute the effort so much, that nothing gets done really good. In other words, you likely end up with your average tutorial explaining just the first few steps.

In that sense, it may be better to collect existing material from the Internet, and bundle it into some uniform format. That would give you a better starting point, as you then don't have to explain all the basics again, and instead can concentrate on the next steps.

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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:21 am 
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A so the wheel turns full circle as GD forks the Wiki again.

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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:35 pm 
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Sorry, I got quite angry about this. I'm not leaving, but I hope this futility and additude that suggests our goals are to *make a collection of links and keep a non-useful index of discoherent tutorials and pretend it's an encyclopediac resource* ends soon. Otherwise, f*** you.

Quote:
a proposal to rewrite half the books in this area will distribute the effort so much

Oh yes. It's a proposal to rewrite books. You're asinine. Its purpose is to be an exhaustive list for coordination, theme, flow and coherence. If they don't write up every single idea listed in this helpful and guiding "Article Inspiration" directory with a dedicated/comprehensive topic in response, it doesn't break. They can choose how to simplify, merge topics and keep it short as they develop the foundation and introductory pieces. How many words do you think it takes to make a simple introduction to state machines? To elaborate this mode, for example, don't you think its worth while to have a paragraph or two describing basic color theory so that more advanced related articles can link backwards for readers who need clarification? Isn't it a good idea to give a theme and at least somewhat consistent progression between concepts, even if they're only included as minor == sections == that are part of greater articles?

Wiki readers also can use search engines, alike editors. We're not trying to index information. We're trying to conceptually connect it. Of course we can link to external resources, but most times it will be too inconsistent to serve as core material. Try to find your way through 200 books. Encyclopedias are supposed to condense information thematically and coherently.


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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Pieman wrote:
You're asinine.
Well, thank you very much.

Pieman wrote:
Its purpose is to be an exhaustive list for coordination, theme, flow and coherence. If they don't write up every single idea listed in this helpful and guiding "Article Inspiration" directory with a dedicated/comprehensive topic in response, it doesn't break.
Everybody is always helpful at shouting random topics that someone else has to write, so I have no doubt you will get lots and lots and lots of topics.

With so many topics however, my fear is that the mountain will be so large that nobody wants to work on it.


Pieman wrote:
They can choose how to simplify, merge topics and keep it short as they develop the foundation and introductory pieces. How many words do you think it takes to make a simple introduction to state machines? To elaborate this mode, for example, don't you think its worth while to have a paragraph or two describing basic color theory so that more advanced related articles can link backwards for readers who need clarification? Isn't it a good idea to give a theme and at least somewhat consistent progression between concepts, even if they're only included as minor == sections == that are part of greater articles?
Definitely, but hasn't this been done a zillion times before by slightly less than a zillion people?

As such, wouldn't it make sense to improve and extend the existing work instead of starting from scratch again? It would give you a jump start. Sure it may not be completely consistent, but isn't making it more consistent less work than rewriting it all again?

Pieman wrote:
We're not trying to index information. We're trying to conceptually connect it.
"Bundle" can have many meanings. Just linking is one extreme, rewriting the same basic stuff yet another time is another extreme. In my view, the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle, where you can make good use of work already done, and build further upon it.

Pieman wrote:
Try to find your way through 200 books.
That works pretty well for me, due to the fact that every book states its own assumptions and definitions if you want to know precisely. I think that's the best you can hope for. When you go in the deep end and explain things carefully and precisely, you need very precise and subtly different notions to explain differences. These are often unique for each method or approach. As a result, when you explain several methods, you get overlapping notions with subtle differences in meaning and intention. While I agree it is not something you should aim for, I also see no way to eliminate all of them without sacrificing preciseness of explanation.

I am quite sure that these 199 authors all carefully considered their terminolgy in relation with other existing work. The fact that despite they knowing existing work, they choose to have new or different concepts in their book because they thought it serves their audience better.
Is there any reason to believe this is different at a wiki with even more authors writing texts over a longer period of time?


I do wish you good luck with it; it would be great to have a really good set of explanations about game programming. My only problem is that I haven't seen that one golden ingredient which will make it work where all previous attempts have failed.

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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:18 am 
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Good point.


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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:56 am 
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Codehead wrote:
A so the wheel turns full circle as GD forks the Wiki again.


Here there.. this is Michael from Gamedev.net. I had nothing to do with the wiki coming over to Gamedev.net's servers and I honestly wouldn't have done it in the first place if I were running the site at the time. Running a wiki is clearly in your area of expertise and we really had no business having it. We also wouldn't fork gdwiki content either.

My project of putting a collection of topics out there is to serve as inspiration for what to write about. It gives the community potential ways to zero in on particular areas and during some months allows us to specifically request a certain type of submission.

This idea reflects a certain reality that at the end of the day people are going to write about what interests them, and a clinical treatment of a topic with rigid constraints isn't necessarily all that appealing. So my challenge instead is to automate the connection-building between articles.. which given the state of information retrieval is certainly doable without having to invent any new IR algorithms. My initial tests using clustering algorithms shows a ton of promise with being able to group articles intelligently and automagically.

The ultimate goal is to really start scouring the Internet for game development resources so commonly scattered across blogs in varying formats and reproduce them in a common article format for everyone to freely use. If we are able to expose all the connections between articles it should make for a nice information archive with some permanence.. unlike some articles that just drop off the net once they close up their wordpress account.

So unlike simple indexing which can be done by google, the idea of clustering articles is trying to put each article into one or more of the most appropriate buckets. If 10 articles fall into the Component Entity Systems bucket, we can use community ratings to give some initial ordering to the documents. Either way, it's very much open and community-driven.


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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Honestly, what you've just described is that you'd go around the webs and try to scavenge tutorials and articles on gamedev and (re)compile them into one giant resource. On the user-side this sounds not too bad. It is quite difficult to find proper documentation on certain topics.

I just hope you'll credit the original creator of the article/tutorial, link back to the original source, and not just copy/paste it at your leisure.

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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:42 pm 
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Most of the time we have the author just create an account and post it under their name, otherwise we credit them and link back according to their request. Unless there are already stated licensing options for the content, you don't just copy without the author's permission. This has to be a internet wide collaborative effort and not some type content hijacking.

But that's one of the problems we realized.. that searching google can be a pain in the ass anymore. You get a ton of short stackoverflow QA links and it turns out to be some work to find good articles on a subject. It's hard even to just scour the net for this project so the easier path is if people voluntarily just repost their content and link back to their site. From a google perspective it works out for them too since we have a pagerank of 6, and they get a boost to their site for SEO. It also provides a pathway for people who never knew about their blog to find it and that's pretty awesome in and of itself.


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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:04 pm 
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Hey Micheal,

I don't mean to be harsh over the whole wiki-fork thing, but I was against it from the start and I turned out to be right. It caused me a whole heap of work to re-integrate the two databases into a single instance again, I still twitch whenever it comes up. :x

Anyway, to your current plan. It seems to me that monolithic datastores such as GPWiki are a thing of the past. The information on the Wiki is so out of date that it would take a massive effort to bring everything back into line and we simply don't have that kind of resource any more. Information these days is fleeting, sparse and organic. I find most of my up-to-date information on blogs and individuals homepages. These often take the form of small, specialist snippets of useful information. No need to waffle and pad out a series of articles, just state the facts and place them where people can find them. When the information is no longer of use, it fades from the search results and new articles spring up elsewhere with more current information. In many ways this is a 'good thing'. No more stale, dated information, no link rot, no updating of reams of pages.

If your project can harness this rapidly shifting information and present it in a usable manner, it'll be a very handy resource. However, I think you might be trying to drag things back to the monolithic one-stop-shop model and I think that might be a step in the wrong direction.

Regardless, I wish you all the best and will keep an eye on progress.

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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:18 am 
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I'm also a (relatively new) staff member at GDNet, and just wanted to address a couple of points.


Firstly, on forking the wiki:
I think that was handled terribly -- I do think the intention was good, but the whole thing was handled terribly on the part of the GDNet staff at the time, with no real obvious effort put into trying to properly integrate, publicise or update the wiki after it was handed over. Although I'm sure it wasn't the intent, it really did come across as just grabbing the content and letting it rot, and that's certainly something we would never want to repeat, and like Michael if I had been a member of the site staff at the time I would have been against the whole thing. On behalf of the current GDNet staff, I'd just like to apologise for how the whole thing was handled; we're not the same team that has run the site in the past, and we really want to create the best resource we can without doing anything to harm other communities or take anything away from authors of content.

On building upon the body of existing work:
This is definitely something we want to do -- we want great new content, but we're also trying to reuse all of the best content that's already out there, and that includes all of the great content to be found around the internet as well as our own existing archives.

We will absolutely not just be ripping off any of this content. We're seeking permission from the original authors, being sure to properly credit them, and linking to original sources when it's possible and appropriate. In most cases so far we've actually invited the original author to use their own account on our site (whether that be an existing account or having them create a new one) so that they're in full control of their formatting, able to respond to comments, and everything that someone authoring a new article also gets access to, and that's something we're going to continue whenever possible. We really want to do this right, and we don't want to do anything that isn't in the interest of both authors and the development community at large.


We also want new content, and we're making a real push to get it by trying to make it as easy as possible for authors to publish with us, trying to very visibly recognise their work, and starting up a monthly contest with prizes on offer for the best articles.


So far our efforts are off to a pretty promising start, and looking at the huge number of "draft" articles currently in our system it looks like we'll be getting loads of great content out there for developers.

Quote:
If your project can harness this rapidly shifting information and present it in a usable manner, it'll be a very handy resource.

That's one of our main goals, and we do want to avoid building a stale monolithic system by keeping the content fresh and utilising our large user-base to curate the content -- effectively pushing the best quality articles to the top of our results whilst downgrading or completely removing lower quality or outdated content.

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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:00 pm 
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jbadams wrote:
We're seeking permission from the original authors, being sure to properly credit them, and linking to original sources when it's possible and appropriate.


:rock

Glad to hear.

Also doing contests is a good way to generate content..although

Quote:
Remake either all or some element of an old video game. You can either stay true to the classic or present a new modern take on the look or even the game mechanics (add reverse time capabilities to a Mario Brothers like game and explain how you did it). You don't need to make a full video game here for the article but do need to write up a little article that puts a magnifying glass on at least part of what you did.


What exactly is the point here? The explanation is fairly ambiguous as far as i'm concerned. Are we supposed to submit a game, an article about a hypothetical game, analyze an existing retro game?
While the notion is pretty interesting since retro-games are all the rage currently i don't see a lot of use for a flood of retro-game-themed articles for the dev community.
To be honest i imagined it to be more tech-based, but well, i guess game design is important too :)

I might give it a shot anyways.

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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Well article topics could be like this:

2d Maze Navigation
Pacman Enemy AI
Building a side scroller shooter
Building a platformer
How to do Parallax Scrolling (show both camera-based parallax as well as using shifting offsets for various layers)
How to make game like xyz (where xyz is pong, snakes, asteroids, qbert, mario brothers, etc etc)
Reversing Time (as in the contest example)
Particle Engines
How to create pixel art
2D Collision detection
Building an Animated Starfield (Including Stars, Nebulas, Planets)
Tile-based Collision Detection
Various graphics effects explained (perhaps with shader code included on some platform) e.g. Glow, Bloom, Depth of Field, Old Film effect

There is a creative element.. which involves reimagining certain game aspects. But that is an exercise that is up to the writer and is the stuff that makes modern indie retro games pretty awesome. Stuff like switching between platformer depths using depth of field, getting that nice black silhouette effect, 2d lighting, setting up side scrollers in a 3d engine and creating a Fez-like game, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:02 pm 
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Quote:
Well article topics could be like this:
...

That's perfect. I wish this Wiki was organized and themed more like that...

Quote:
I haven't seen that one golden ingredient which will make it work where all previous attempts have failed.

The golden ingredient is simply doing. I have seen it. Read the Game Maker's Apprentice, or try its sequel. It's superb.


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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Been meaning to reply to this for a while, but got sidetracked. :O

Thanks for your comments JB and Micheal. There's no need to apologise, it's water under the bridge. I do reserve the right to grumble about stuff though. It's one of the plus points of getting older. ;)

At the end of the day, we're all pulling in the same direction. If it's good for game programmers, it's good for all of us. If there's anything we can help with, let us know.

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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:34 am 
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Thanks man.. yeah we've been at this a while too. I'll be 34 this upcoming weekend and I'm starting to see a few gray hairs here and there. It's going to only get worse. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: GameDev.net's plans
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:07 am 
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Quote:
I'll be 34 this upcoming weekend and I'm starting to see a few gray hairs here and there.

But haven't your 34 years been worth living, just for a few gray hairs? By the bacon, you're like... awesome!


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